The Bangkok Art and Centre (BACC) is the hub of Bangkok’s burgeoning art scene and offers the widest range of contemporary art, design, music, theatre and film in the city. Located only a few minutes walk National Stadium BTS it hosts a number of changing exhibitions from both Thai and International artists. Entry is free and the centre is open from 10.00 till 21.00 every day except Mondays. Whilst it has not quite reached the calibre of the great art centres in London and New York its potential is evident and it is worth dedicating an hour or so for a visit.
Both inside and outside the building is reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York, with its huge white curving facade and spiral walkways. It stands out on the corner of the Pathumwan intersection amongst the shopping centres and often displays some interesting sculptures in the front square. It finally opened in 2008, 13 years after the idea was first suggested. Political stumbling blocks, changes in government and granting funding prolonged the process. The advocacy paid off and it continues to dedicate itself to the aim of providing somewhere for locals and visitors to define and explore art and culture. As well as over 4000 square metre of exhibition space it also houses shops, an art library and a couple of cafes serving coffee and snacks.
The exhibitions on display vary. It has an international feel with explanations in English and bilingual staff on hand to enhance the experience. At times the large space can feel empty but once you step inside the galleries the innovation is obvious. Rotating curators such as Luckana Kunavichayanont and Apinan Poshyananda ensure that there is always something exciting and challenging to see. Over the past few years this has included new Asian photography, the Young Thai Artist Award, contemporary Japanese crafts and The Mekong River Art Project.
The art centre has quickly become a popular hangout for students, although the enthusiasm has not always been picked up by the general public and visitors to the area. Whilst there are some limitations and not every display is of world-class standard it does give a great insight into modern culture in Thailand.
Tip: It is worth picking up the Bangkok Art Map during your visit if you are interested in exploring some of the smaller galleries in town. Partly sponsored by the BACC it provides a monthly update on the current exhibitions and their locations throughout the city.
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre
- Opening Hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 21:00(closed on Monday)
- BTS: National Stadium
- Address: 939 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
- Tel: +66 (0)2 214 6630